|Elevation:||3,332 m (10,932 ft)||Prominence:||3,069 m|
|Ribu category:||Sangat Tinggi||Province:||Jawa Timur (East Java)|
|Google Earth:||kml||Other names:|
|Eruptions:||1586, 1593, 1597, 1638, 1730, 1804, 1812-15, 1817, 1838, 1849, 1859-60, 1864, 1881, 1885, 1890, 1896-97, 1902-03, 1913, 1915-17, 1921, 1924, 1927-29, 1933, 1936-41, 1943-45, 1953, 1955-56, 1971, 1973-78, 1982, 1985, 1987-91, 1993-95, 1997, 1999, 2000, 2002, 2004-05, 2007-08, 2012|
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Route to summit
At over 2 kilometres in diameter, Gunung Raung has the largest crater in Java. It’s one of the most remote and least climbed of the 3000-metre plus peaks which means that there isn’t much litter on the trail and it really is a mountain to escape from civilization for a while. Lots of people do see the immense and impressive crater from the air as it is on the flight route from Java to Bali. Raung last erupted in 2008 but there hasn’t been a catastrophic eruption for many decades. It is worth looking at the excellent old photos of the 1913 eruption which are available online.
Whilst reaching the true highest point of Raung crater rim requires a lengthy expedition involving roped rock climbing, the most popular route to the rim itself is from the north at Sumberwringin, where accommodation, guides and porters can be arranged. From the actual starting point, strong hikers could reach the rim in just over 7 hours, requiring about 5 hours to descend.
From Sumberwrigin (729m), it’s a 40 minute ojek or truck ride to the starting point in pine forest (1,206m). There are a couple of forks in the path near the start so a guide is a very good idea indeed. It is a long trail, but not especially demanding as the gradient is, for the most part, rather gentle. Raung itself is still quite some distance off, so the trail is actually very pleasant and gentle and it slowly leads you higher up the mountainside up through wild vegetation and scattered pine woodland. Look out for long-tailed black monkeys in this area. There is a nice spot to sit and rest for a while next to a cement trig (1,806m).
In the distance to the right (west) you should be able to see the large mountain of Argopuro rising above the clouds. To the left (east) is a smaller mountain called Gunung Suket, a nice shapely peak just a few kilometres from Raung itself. There are several spots to camp on the trail, but none of them are large enough for more than about 5 tents. They are also on slightly sloping ground. The best two are at 2,337m (no views but warmer) and 2,807m (colder but excellent sunset views over Argopuro). The latter is just 15 minutes from the treeline and would be ideal for anyone wishing to climb to the rim for sunrise.
At the treeline there is a small memorial (2,954m) presumably to someone who perished on the mountain. From here to the rim is about an hour of clambering up steep, bare volcanic rock. It’s pretty easy to climb up this way, but coming down you will probably need to use you hands in a few places to prevent slips and falls. To your left, between Suket and the side of Raung you might be able to spot the massif of Ijen-Merapi pushing through the clouds and the smaller mountain of Baluran inbetween.
Finally you will reach the edge of the crater rim (3,180m) and be rewarded with absolutely stunning views over the vertical crater walls. Take care here as a fall would mean certain death! The caldera is massive, and in the centre is a deep crater, approximately 400 metres across, which sometimes spews gas and rocks. The true highest point of Raung can be seen on the other side of the rim, over to the right (west). It is pretty much impossible to reach the peak from this side but you should be content with what is one of Java’s most amazing panoramas.
The true highest point of the crater rim, Puncak Sejati, is very difficult to reach and requires an expedition team who are confident with rock climbing and using ropes. Perhaps once a year a team from one of Indonesia’s universities attempts to reach the true peak. Below is some information from a Java Lava forum regarding how best to tackle the tricky top itself:
“The first route, employed by OEC Surabaya, is thru Kalibaru Village. This route is considered more difficult than Glenmore route (see below). After the vegetation border, climber should reached Wates Peak first, go down, traversing 50 meter / 164 foot cliff wall, and then semi-scrambling on loose-rock slope to reach the summit. Most of the routes after the vegetation border is about 40-70 degree slopes on the loose-rock ground. Water is also difficult to find on this route, so it must be prepared and carried along from the base. The whole route from Kalibaru to the summit is said to be 17.6 Km /10.9 miles long.
Glenmore Village is starting point for the second route and was done by reaching the Glenmore Peak (3227 meters /10587 feet) first which is situated on the east of the main summit. When OEC-UI made their route, they did it by traversing the crater rim from the Glenmore Peak to the main summit which is located in the west of it. Horizontal length between the two peaks is less than 1 Km/ 0.621 mile, but it was said to take whole day to accomplish and most of it was done by crawling. The terrifying factors here is the vertical drop down to the crater 500 meters / 1,640 feet below on the right side and the 40-70 degrees slippery sand-loose-rock slope on the left side. But according to the hikers, this route is easier compared to Kalibaru route, as it is easier to find water along the way.
It is also encouraged to bring along climbing gear as the characterisitic of the southern side is exactly the same as the northern side i.e. sand and loose rock. Rope 50 meters / 164 feet, harness, figure eight, long pegs, (ice) axe were among the essential gear to have.”
Bagging information by Daniel Quinn
|Getting there||The nearest major airport is Surabaya and it’s a long, long drive. It can take anywhere between 5 and 9 hours. There is a small airport at Ketapang (Banyuwangi) but there are only very limited flights. From Bondowoso, head towards Wonosari before turning up towards Sumberwringin itself.|
|Accommodation||Basic accommodation available at Sumberwringin. A wider range of places can be found at nearby Ijen.|
|Permits||No major issues here – you may need to pay a small fee at Sumberwringin.|
|Water sources||There is no water available on the usual crater rim route from Sumberwringin so it’s vital that you take enough with you.|
Origins and Meaning
The Roaring Mountain. To the best of my knowledge raung is not a standard Javanese word, so it comes either from the regional dialect of East Java, or from Malay-Indonesian or from Madurese. In any case its meaning is clear: “to roar loudly” referring to the noise emitted by the volcano during eruptions. (George Quinn, 2011)